I began leisure reading in my late 20's. Growing up, and having to read in school, it seemed more like a chore. Then when one of my previous jobs had me taking the train to work every day, I saw all these people reading books and thought that might be a good idea to pass the time. I started with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I wanted to see what all the hype was about, and wow, after that book, I never looked back and became an avid reader.
A study from the University of Sussex in England found that reading reduces stress, probably by distracting people from everyday worries. Just six minutes of reading per day reduced stress levels by 68 percent. In another study, researchers from the Yale School of Public Health showed that reading a book for 30 minutes a day can add two years to your life span. The researchers questioned more than 3,600 people over the age of 50 from different backgrounds and found that book readers had a 20 percent lower chance of dying over 12 years compared to those who read magazines and newspapers and those who didn't read at all.
How to become a bookworm.
If you're already an avid reader, keep it going! If you are looking to add more reading into your daily routine, here are a few tips:
1. Read to your kids - Shared books lead to the very best discussions about life, love and how to persevere through hard times. Find a fun series. Use voices. Cuddle under blankets and enjoy the moment.
2. Move on - If you start a book and its not keeping your interest, drop it and move onto another book. There are so many wonderful stories out there, so find one that captures you.
3. Set a goal - You can set a reading goal on Goodreads.com. After completing a book, you can post a short review, and at the end of the year, Goodreads puts together a personalized infographic with reading stats. In addition, Goodreads is a wonderful source for finding amazing stories.
4. Turn off the TV - According to Nielsen 2018 data, Americans age 2 years and older spend four hours and 16 minutes per day watching TV. Turn off the screen and you may find 250 more minutes to spare in your day.
5. Listen to books - I used to have a long commute to work and sit in traffic for more than 3 hours a day. To help relieve some of the tension, I listened to audiobooks. This helped pass the time driving to and from work. Plus, you can listen while doing dinner or laundry to keep learning.
6. Start small - A quote from American educational reformer Horace Mann says "Resolve to edge into a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence." A little reading every day goes a long way.